yip-howl session, a rousing cacophony heard here at irregular and unpredictable intervals, mostly at night.


Sirens provoke the most vigorous and prolonged yip-howling.  After a siren wail or two, coyotes in the vicinity often react vocally for two or three minutes. Their howls usually end after that, even if the siren continues. This coyote behavior is so widespread and predictable that wildlife biologists and hunters sometimes use sirens to locate or count them.  Dogs react to siren wails too, but at least in our neighborhood, their response is subdued compared to coyotes.


Why coyotes yip-howl when sirens sound is anyone’s guess.  Since more than one usually respond, it’s likely the behavior has social significance.  Some claim coyotes react because siren wails hurt their ears, but theories even more speculative probably exist.



                      Puzzle: Why do Coyotes Yip-Howl When Sirens Sound?